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DRH1175

Camp Ripley Whats the low down

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I got drawn for the first camp ripley hunt and was wondering if it is worth going or should I pass on it and just hunt Public land? Can you drive in or do you have to walk from the entrance etc... Was trying to figure out how one gets back to the northern end? According to my co worker who is in the guards he said there is deer everywhere and it would be an easy hunt? Is he accurate?? Thanks

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I have never hunted Ripley so what I can pass on is second hand info. I have heard that there are some huge deer in there and that is what attracts large numbers of people to apply. The success rate is low, perhaps due to people holding out for a big buck? And if I remember right you need to be out by a certain time which means you don't want to shoot anything late in the day since you will not have time to track it. Thats what I remember from last year. I was looking into applying myself and never got around to it.

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Well you can drive all over on the roads but easy hmmm. GO BUY YOUR DEER FROM A FARM THEN!!! Its still hunting and nothing is easy there are alot of deer in there. It is worth going but you and every one else is going to the north end. Long Drive up there.

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I didn't mean easy!! Is it worth the drive to Hunt Ripley?? I hear from some no and some yes trying to get more info. I will be hunting it hard for 2 days if I do go? I wanted some info as to the ins and outs. Any pointers from fellow FM's. Thanks for those who are willing to share their experiences.

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ok , ive hunted ripley since i was 12 and now im 34, my dad hunted there when you didnt have to go through a drawing process ,you just went. Here is some tips, get there early if you want a good spot in line , yes they let you through the gates early in the morning ,be ready. you can drive in most areas ,not the restricted areas. there is alot of people just remember to give someone a quick whistle if they set up to close while on stand, most people will move out of respect . Yes ripley is a place to get a trophy , most will pass on smaller bucks , but i believe this year you can use an extra tag for a doe read the laws. The nine point im posing with is one i had taken at ripley in 1995 i believe. He was up there with some of the big boys brought in But he was certainly not the biggest , there was a few huge ones taken. The best part for me is getting in line after the first night of hunting and walking back to the gate where all the deer are registered and weighed , everyone stands around gawking at the deer and telling there own little stories. "Some donts " dont bud in line , And be ready in the morning . "Do's" Have fun ,something you will never forget.

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I seen the biggest buck of my life 2 years ago at Ripley, just got done setting my stand up and was bringing my bow up (tied to a rope) when the bruiser came in, all i could do is watch with a dropped jaw shocked.gif he rushed in like he wanted to fight... then he was gone. came 10 yards away. Something i'll never forget. Good luck and have fun! I can't wait!!

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I agree, I saw the biggest Whitetail of my life up in Ripley 2 years ago but he never presented a shot. MAKE SURE YOU GO!!! I will be there the first hunt. Good Luck.

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I am going. I am pumped!! I hope I see something Big. No biggy if I don't shoot anything but seeing is what it is all about in my opinion.

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A question about the liscences? Do they give you special Ripley tags or do you use your normal liscence? I have read they are allowing a second deer/ doe does anyone know if it means buck and a doe or 2 does and do you use a bonus tag for that deer or what? If others know please fill me in?

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The Ripley hunt is great! You will probably see deer as there are a ton of them. Be sure to bring the letter you got in the mail though; it will save you time when you enter the hunting area in the morning. Also, be sure to bring a compass/GPS. Its easy to get turned around if you don't know the area. It's a blast to be around that many bowhunters though. All the cars, trucks, campers, fishouses, etc. lined up. There is a lot of great people that hunt. Won't be able to go this year but I sure am rooting for all of you.

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I am looking forward to meeting all the other bowhunters. It should be fun. I am looking forward to seeing all the deer that are taken no matter who takes them. It will just be a blast I am sure. This will be my first hunt. However from what I have heard my first of many hopefully.

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Have 80 acres along Ripley. I can vouch for the big deer. Try to stay away from the packs and be willing to push yourself a little further to find your own domain. Also, don't be afraid to call or rattle. There's a good article in the latest issue of Minnesota Sportsman and the low grunt, rattle, every 45 technique does work in the area. I'd also recommend that you stay highly aware of the wind direction. We get some decent wind through the area at times and I'd pay close attention to downwind traffic. Fox cover scent works well in the area for drags when you're walking in.

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Quote:

A question about the liscences? Do they give you special Ripley tags or do you use your normal liscence? I have read they are allowing a second deer/ doe does anyone know if it means buck and a doe or 2 does and do you use a bonus tag for that deer or what? If others know please fill me in?


You hunt with your regular licenses. There's a 2 deer limit (1 buck/1 antlerless or 2 antlerless) and you can use your regular archery, all-season license, or bonus permits.

Congrats to everyone who drew, the odds weren't very good this year.

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I take it I was quite lucky. This is the first time I ever applied and got drawn. I will appreciate the chance for all who didn't get drawn. Sounds like it is quite the place to be if you are a bow hunter.

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You have to use your normal buck tag and one extra doe if you want to help them lower the number of does in there.

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Thanks,

I will tag a doe if the shot presents itself. I have plenty of bonus tags for that purpose along with the other spots I hunt.

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Talking with the biologist in Little Falls who coordinates the Ripley hunts, he says that draw rates are around 50+ % without preference even. If you want a good ideas of the stags shot in Ripley, do a search and find the site for Camp Ripley bowhunts, they had a ton of pictures of past bucks on it. Have fun, I set up on expected funnels and escape routes(thick areas). If you have a climber it rocks in Ripley with tons of straight maples and poplars...

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I am picking up a new summit climber this week actually. I am pumped. Do you wait till daylight to find your spots to see what is well traveled etc... Also do you need several crossing trails or does one Escape type route seem to be efficient? I am hoping with the climber I can move quite easily and quickly to get on the deer and should be able to sit still all day. I have heard that is the key. Thanks for everyones help!! How do you find a good area? Is it best to walk a long way into the woods or a few hundred yards of the road is fine?

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DRH1175,

They do a group start (really something!) that, I think, starts at 6:30 or 7:00. When I have hunted there, I have had good luck on ridges that have some oak mast on them. As far as the trails go, I would try to find an intersection and get comfortable. The climber and sitting all day are good ideas. Let the other guys push those deer a little!

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Yeah, its hard to get out in the dark even. About the only way is if you are at the very front of the line and set up fairly close to the entrance. Even scrambling and only going halfway north we usually have plenty of light, that we don't need a flashlight.

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